Mind your language!

I love the nuances of language.

In fact, languages were the only thing that really interested me at school.

And it wasn’t just because my French teacher was rather handsome (can I say that? Probably not but I’m saying it anyway. Language, eh?!).

I love how one or two words can make a difference to our messages and how they’re received.

‘That piece of work is not good enough’ diminishes the listener whereas ‘I would like to help you make this piece of work even better’ lifts her up.

I find it fascinating that what is unspoken is sometimes more telling than what is spoken. The elephant is there but nobody quite knows how to approach it – often because they can’t find the right words or fear the impact of those words. (Much of my work with teams helps them with this).

When I first trained as a coach back in 2001, I learned how much I was ‘interpreting’ rather than really listening to what the other person was saying;...

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The Valentine’s Day gift of Listening!

It’s so easy to unintentionally close people down when we’re in a hurry, think we know the answer, assume what the other person means and so on. 
Here are a couple of examples:

Team member – ‘I think we need to do some work on helping people understand our values a bit more and what they look like in practice’.

Boss – ‘I disagree – it’s not a priority right now’.

Conversation closed.

Same boss gets frustrated that her team ‘don’t innovate as much as they should’ and ‘don’t seem to have the creative ideas she is expecting from them’.

I wonder why?!

‘Better’ response?’ I’d like to hear your thoughts on how we do that’/’that’s interesting, I thought everyone was really clear – so tell me more’. 

That opens up a dialogue.

Here’s a second example:

Team member – ‘I can’t get my voice heard in the...

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